Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Must Read: Fees to Rise for UC Grad Students But Not Undergrads; Deregulation Caused Phone Prices to Spike

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Student fees likely are going to rise again next fall for graduate students at the University of Calfiornia, but not for undergrads, the LA Times reports. UC regents decided not to increase undergraduate tuition at the request of Governor Jerry Brown, who delivered last week the first balanced budget in the state in a decade. However, fees for professional degrees, such as law and nursing, likely will go up again next year at the ten-campus system — but not by as much as previously feared.

2. Since phone companies were deregulated in 2006 — at the urging of Republicans who said the free market would keep phone rates low — AT&T has raised its prices by as much as 115 percent for basic landline service, the Chron reports. Verizon, the other major landline phone-service provider, also has raised its rates substantially since deregulation.

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3. Although recent polls show that a strong majority of Americans support stricter gun control laws, Democrats in Washington contend that legislation will not garner the needed Republican support in Congress unless President Obama puts the full weight of his presidency behind it, The New York Times reports. Democrats are also split as to whether to push gun control legislation through Congress rapidly or take a slower, more measured approach.

4. Republicans, with their public-approval ratings at historic lows, have finally realized that they should stop talking about rape, the Washington Post reports. The GOP brand was badly damaged last year and Republicans lost support among women after some GOP candidates made ridiculous comments about “legitimate” versus “illegitimate rape.”

5. The House GOP also may abandoned plans to force the US government into default and likely cause a worldwide financial panic later this month and instead will agree to raise the debt ceiling, the LA Times reports. Republicans had threatened to refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama cuts federal spending again, but apparently has backed off that idea after polls showed that Americans would blame the GOP and not the president if the nation defaults on its debts.

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